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What is "wrong" with these new subcompacts?

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Comments

  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,376
    About the TDI- with the HPFP problems, and the loss of power/dash warning lights like a xmas tree problems that keep getting reported on the 09+ TDI's, I'd personally avoid them. Too bad, as I like the car in concept. YMMV...

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    TrueDelta did report lots of early TDI issues FWIW....
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Well, the issue with TDIs is VW. Not the technology. Honda makes a TDI Civic in the U.K. that is amazing. Nearly 50mpg and Honda reliability. But not for us plebeians in the U.S...
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    edited December 2010
    It's a shame, because the TDI Jetta wagon is pretty darn nice, too. Hopefully VW addresses it soon.
  • fintailfintail Posts: 33,689
    I've read those GPs aren't exactly the most comfortable best finished cars.

    But if kids are going to ransack it, I guess why not.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    edited December 2010
    Oh heck no. Not for me anyway. It seems from your remarks that in fact you are not a fan of the truly small car, but may instead subscribe to the "best value is the highest number of pounds of car I can get per buck" school of thought.

    Which to me is a counter-productive way to think.

    As for compact vs subcompact, my experience is that the quality and interior materials of compacts for sale in the U.S. isn't much better than the subcompact from the same automaker. So I would rather go with the subcompact to get the right-size car.

    Also, for my commute car, nothing less than 40 mpg (in my driving, which equates to approx 36 highway EPA rating) will do. I do this not only for the dollar savings but for the GHG emissions savings, so buying a used car that makes 25 mpg for the same money because it nets out the same is not of interest to me.

    I am not immune to the charms of the 45+ mpg Golf TDI, but it also costs about $25K with a moonroof, and for that money I would rather have the better driver of the pair: the Mini Cooper. At $25K the Mini comes with lots of toys, and in fact one optioned the way I would want is only about $22K. So I will have to wrestle with that decision before I pull the trigger: do I go with a much cheaper, more basic car which will be almost as much fun to drive but less desirable in lots of other little ways, or do I go with the Mini?

    I had a Matrix and only averaged 32 mpg in it. Not to mention it was a cheap trashy car that I would never recommend to anyone, ditto its twin the Vibe. Nothing with a Jeep badge on it is a bargain to me - they all have beyond-cheap interiors (painful to the misplaced elbow, in fact) and below-30 mpg.

    For now I'm sold on subcompacts for my commute car, and I'm also not looking to maximize pounds per dollar - I would rather buy the best car for my needs. Used is a possibility - I bought the Echo 2 years old and it proved to be a huge bargain by giving me 6 years and 100K miles of trouble-free operation, plus I saved about $4000 off the new price. But I think I would stick to certified, and I know that jacks the price up some and reduces the savings you net from going used.

    Still looking for a Honda Fit Sport, might get some time this week if I shuffle a few things around.......

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • hpmctorquehpmctorque Posts: 4,201
    edited December 2010
    Based on what you say, you should go for the MINI. Why? The day after you buy it you'll forget about what you paid, or it will become a receding memory, while the joys of owning your favoite car will grow.

    The Golf feels much more substantial than the Fit. If you prefer the MINI over the Golf, I predict that you'll prefer the feel of the MINI over the Fit.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,695
    edited December 2010
    though I have just looked at the Ford Fiesta hatchback and sedan and not driven them, I am really keen on keeping and digging my 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS compact. I get 32mpg on the highway consistently and 23mpg in the city. I beat the sticker, which says 22 city, 30 highway, IIRC. But I am more than happy with that kind of mileage.

    image
    2011 Ford Fiesta S sedan

    But the Fiesta and Mazda 2 subcompacts would beat that, yes, but comparing the size of the Fiesta sedan and the Lancer GTS, I just get enough extra sq. footage in the Lancer to make things more comfortable. I would need to test drive a Fiesta sedan to tell you for sure, but man, just leaning over to look inside the Fiesta, it is small in there! And I would buy the sedan, the hatchback would really feel like it's closing in on me I think.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,441
    well, if you will go a little larger (and don't need a hatch, I may have lost track of your needs here!) take a look at the new elantra. I drove one the other day, and it was extremely nice. And rated at 40 hwy, and some reports make that seem entirely reasonable.

    I am pretty sure the stick will be on the base model, so $ wise it will be cheap.

    and if you like the current model, they are having a fire sale on those!

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I didn't realize the new 40 mpg model was already out. If I can get a stick and factory cruise in the same model, it is worth a look-see. Still under $20K I hope?

    Problem is there isn't a good Hyundai dealer anywhere near me - my area got Kia instead.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Well, then, you're down to the Mini Clubman, the Lancer, the VW GTI, or maybe something like a Civic.

    There also is a more "green" alternative to any hybrid out there, and that's a Civic GV. With the in-you-garage filling device, you're looking at roughly the equivalent of $1.50 a gallon for fuel and greenhouse gas emissions that are essentially zero.(in most urban areas, the air that comes from the tailpipe is cleaner than the surrounding air)

    My cousin's husband has one and it saves him a ton of money and is otherwise a normal Civic. The only two downsides are the 250 mile range and the trunk is half the normal size. IMO, big deal.

    There are is one vehicle, though, that might perk your interest.
    - A 2005 C230K sedan. Reasonably priced, reliable transmission(manual of course), and about 35mpg highway. One of the best European sedans ever made, IMO. They still sell a slightly larger engine version in Europe, but the U.S. version has a non supercharged engine that just doesn't hit that magic spot any more. They also made a 2 door coupe version of the same thing that's quite inexpensive. 12-14K used.

    I personally love this car and keep looking for one with manual and green paint, but almost everything is black or silver. Still, it's a fantastic car.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,441
    just dribbling out. Not sure if the stick is an early availability.

    and the price whould please you. The loaded limited (leather, heated seats, roof, AT) only stickers for $20,700.

    so, I am guessing that the base model stick is going to be mid-teens?

    No idea about the cruise though (which just happens to be one option I would not notice if it was gone, but I do require the moonroof. To each his own!)

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • tifightertifighter WAPosts: 1,376
    Problem is there isn't a good Hyundai dealer anywhere near me - my area got Kia instead.

    Are you in the city? I only moved here a year and a half ago and don't know the stories...are the Hyundai dealers here problem children?

    15 Leaf / 08 RDX

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    This project put a K20 in a new CR-Z and gutted the hybrid battery and components:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2010/12/13/video-honda-cr-z-gets-the-k-series-engine-it-- was-meant-to-have/

    I bet it's a kick to drive...
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    I'm in Marin. There is an also-ran Hyundai dealer just getting established up in Petaluma, but the place is like an afterthought of a dealership group with a bunch of brands.

    After that, I'm not sure where the next closest is. Probably Vallejo. Is there a Hyundai dealer in SF? Probably, so that would be about the same distance as Vallejo for me, but neither one is conveniently close for warranty service.

    stickguy: actually this time, I may make BOTH the cruise and moonroof deal-breakers. But of the cars I have looked at so far, only the Fiesta has a factory moonroof, unless I move up into a different price range, in which the Mini and Golf TDI both have factory moonroofs available.

    The 2010 Yaris is down to $12,6 at a local dealer - that's a 3-door with power package (I prefer the hatchback to the sedan). Would have to add cruise for $500 or so, but still the price is WAY below the others at this point. Of course, I swore to myself that the next time around I wouldn't buy on price.....always a mistake in the end. The Yaris is easily the worst of the subs at this point, with the exception of the terrible Aveo.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,441
    you always have the option of having the roof dealer installed Qbrozen did that recently when he bought his Mazda5.

    I know the Hyundai doesn't have themoonroof available with the stick at this point.

    and you couldn't pay me to do a long daily commute in a Yaris. Yuck.

    The Fiesta hatch is very nice looking, and supposedly has a very good highway ride. The upcoming Focus looks evenmore tasty.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,695
    edited December 2010
    looks at the new world order Ford Focii. But isn't the Focus a compact car like my Lancer and not a subcompact?

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Yep, a step up from a Fiesta.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    a Yaris 3-door with power package tonight. They offered me $1500 trade for the Echo (about $1500 more than I expected anyone to give me in trade for an almost-150K Echo with some minor body damage and a stick shift) to try to get me to buy, but I walked.

    Still, that is effectively a price of $11,000 for a brand new Yaris. If I paid them $400 to install cruise, which is the price they quoted me for that, that is $11,4. Is the Mazda2 really $4000 better? Can the Fit Sport really be $5000 or more better? I wonder. And those are going to be the real-world prices of those two, give or take maybe $500.

    The deal is good for seven days. The Yaris is a decent drive - not as buttoned down as the Mazda was, but preferable to a Fiesta for me. They have improved the interior a little bit since I last drove one - there are now soft-retract grab handles for both front-seat occupants for instance. The steering is worse than the Mazda's and the Fiesta's - no on-center feel at all, and not much feel anywhere else either, come to think of it. The shifter is a pretty good one though, most Toyotas' shifters are. The clutch is as good as the Mazda's - light and easy to tell where it engages. And it's basically the same powertrain as the Echo's, which makes it likely it will also go 150K without giving much trouble, providing 40 mpg fuel economy all along the way. The Yaris is one of the top-rated Toyotas for reliability.

    Have to think about it.....I am going to still make one last attempt to find a stick shift Fit Sport to drive this weekend.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited December 2010
    You might also check out the Nissan Versa and Sentra, which have $2000 and $2500 in rebates currently. The Mitsubishi Lancer has $2000 off. All are worlds better than a Yaris. Lower cost for a better vehicle due to the rebates. The winner, IMO, is the Versa.

    Here is another sobering thing to consider when about the Yaris:
    http://www.iihs.org/research/hldi/composite_cls.aspx?y=2006-2008&cls=2&sz=1&sort- - - =all

    The Yaris is among the highest in terms of payout for injuries in an accident. It's simply put, a tin can. Most small cars are as well, though the Versa hatchback is fairly decent. That's why it gets my pick. The fit is better as well, but it's several thousand more and Honda never offers incentives. Note: a score of 100 is average, and it is weighted. A score of 200 is almost 4x as bad as a score of 100. Look at the last three columns. Personal Injury, Medical, and Bodily Injury. That score of 207 is horrendous. A Civic averages 127 by comparison. The Versa Hatchback is quite a bit better.

    It really is the 2000s version of the VW Beetle. Small, cheap, frugal, but God help you if you get hit in one.

    http://www.carsdirect.com/build/options?zipcode=91107&acode=USC10NIC102A0&restor- - - e=false
    That price includes delivery. $11,923 is going to be hard to beat, IMO.

    But if you really want safe AND good mileage, just get the Civic.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,495
    Life is short... get the MINI!

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaPosts: 791
    Just to let you know- a 2011 Nissan Versa S 5-door with 6-speed manual and the Power Plus Pkg (power windows & locks, cruise control, keyless entry, door pockets and padded door armrests) stickers for $15,250 but TrueCar.com is showing it for $11,995 after the $2k rebate. It's a much better looking and driving vehicle than the Yaris. Worth a look if you haven't considered it already!
  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    Yeah, Minis used to be a good deal if you got the base model with not much on it. But now they start at $20K(and out the door with tax is pretty much $25K now), and for that much money, let's be hones. There's a LOT of CPO cars out there that blow the Mini away - and quite a few new ones as well.

    If you want a really inexpensive of wheels with a manual transmission, the Versa and the Elantra(at the end of the year when they have incentives) are hard to beat. Second would be a Civic or Fit, and the Patriot if you want a super-cheap SUV.(that gets nearly 30mpg!)

    Me? I'd sacrifice 5mpg for twice as good in a crash.

    note - about the data on that site... A typical SUV is in the 50-80 range, which skews the data. A Camry is around 120 or so as a result. And anything tiny is at a huge disadvantage as most midsize and large cars approach 4000lbs, and many SUVs are nearly 5000lbs now. I'd be scared silly to drive with my son in a car that small. $300 or so in gas a year just isn't worth it.(the medical co-pay alone will suck up that in extra money since you'll get injured more in a tiny car than a normal sized one)
  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    The honest answer is "No" because you simply get diminishing returns the more you spend.

    However, having said that, life is short. Don't buy any car you don't love.

    If it were strictly about price, get a CPO Mazda3 or something.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    edited December 2010
    Of course, it wasn't until 2009 that Toyota gave the Yaris 6 standard airbags and ABS, which would put it on a more equal footing with other models. And of course the IIHS data is for 2006-08 Yarises....

    I drove a rental Versa recently and would put to the absolute bottom of the class except for Aveo. I would take a Fiesta over a Versa. But you are right, the price is a good one. Was looking at a 6-speed Versa with power package recently, which had a sticker of around $16K. Take away the $2000 rebate and get another $1000 off it from the dealer, you are down to $13,000 which is a very good price, if still $1500 more than the Yaris. Either way, the drive in the Versa is the least pleasant if you have my priorities, so it's not in contention.

    I do think that if I manage to drive a Fit Sport this weekend, I should drive a Mini again to get the back-to-back impression. The Mini is such a great car, but of course the price they are asking reflects that.....

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    edited December 2010
    Trying to stick to a right-size car here, not creep up to compacts like the Mazda3, thanks! But it's a good recommendation - the Mazda3 is easily the best car in its class for people who like to drive.

    The only car in the compact class that might get close to the 40 mpg I am looking for is the Civic, and there are what, 40 BILLION of those on the road? Talk about seeing your car everywhere. Not for me. Besides, I test drove one of those a few months back and I think the glow is definitely off the rose at this point - that is a model overdue for big updates.

    Don't buy any car I don't love? I like that advice a lot, but the problem is I am fairly convinced there isn't anything sold today I would love. In every class of car, control is being taken away from the driver, road feel and driver controls are receding, being computerized, everything made robotic. One of the advantages of the subcompact class it that because it is under such price pressure, the fewest of those types of changes have crept in thus far.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited December 2010
    Yes, there are 40 billion of them. You can also customize it quite a lot if you feel the need to do so.

    Yes, I know they Yaris has more airbags. It still doesn't change the data much, as what we're interested in is injury rates and not fatality rates which is the interesting part of that site. It doesn't use "stars", but instead closely follows what physics tells you is likely to happen(though there are exceptions of course). 30% of all accidents involve a SUV or commercial vehicle. All that matters is how your car does versus one. And sub-compacts are honestly too small, IMO, to be considered any more.

    Stepping up to the size of a Civic/Fit or a Mazda 3 or similar offers you a world of protection by comparison.

    Note - you might consider dropping a couple more MPG and getting a CPO or similar Civic Si. Few people have one and you'd be looking at the previous body style. Or get the CNG Civic. Free carpool access for life, essentially zero emissions, and a cost-adjusted 70mpg combined.(being that CNG is half the price of gasoline) Almost nobody has one, either.

    They are 25K new, but half the fuel cost ads up quickly:
    12K miles/year:
    172 "gallons" of CNG (price adjusted to equal gasoline)
    That's $550 a year fuel savings at today's prices(and trust me, they're NOT going down) The home fueling device drops it to roughly 1/3 the cost of gasoline.

    You also can get a hefty tax credit for the home fuel device as well as the vehicle itself. It's a complete win-win unless you absolutely must "commute" more than 250 miles a day. There are about 1000 or so CNG fueling stations in the U.S., and the car comes with them programmed into the GPS. (it's a Civic EX with NAV)

    The reason you get one is simply that you can keep it for twice as long as a Yaris and laugh at the idiots trying to eek out every last MPG in their microboxes.

    edit - also, you could "settle" for 35mpg in a CNG Crown Vic/Grand Marquis. These are easily available for 10-12K a couple of years(3-5 max) used. Getting 35-40mpg equivalent out of a giant boat like that is awesome. And proof that we're simply using the wrong fuel in our vehicles - CNG is awesome. Save the planet and do so in a giant armored tank of a car that can fit 6 people in it - and still have nobody inside :P
  • riding dynamic but that face is so clownish I'd never even test drive one. Besides Mitsubishi makes a better driving car than Mazda, anyway, end of this particular battle. Period.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • plektoplekto Posts: 3,738
    edited December 2010
    That is true. The Lancer is the basic for the top rally racing car out there. Of course, it's also really not good unless you get the AWD version, and that's way out of the budget.
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